For me, the creative cycle is like going backpacking. I've got 26 pounds on my back and I'm looking up at a big climb trying to prepare myself. I take a deep breath and start the climb remembering to enjoy the challenge and pace myself. Once I get to the top and look out across the mountain ranges or down at a beautiful valley, I smile and enjoy the reward because I know that with each hill I have to climb there is a fabulous reward waiting for me each time.
That's how I feel when I'm creating something new. It's a challenge. Sometimes more than others. But it's such a reward when something works that I remember that the struggle is part of the process. So as I get ready to climb a new creative hill, I start thinking about what or who inspires me.
Trips in nature have always helped me get back in the creative cycle, but I also can't help but think of the people who inspire me. As usual, I find myself reminiscing about my grandmother. She is the reason I grew to love art and she will always be the foundation of my inspiration. Yet there have been so many women in my life who have helped me along the way.
From my mother who struggled with terrible hurdles but made sure my sister and I were always taken care of to my guardian angel, Esther, who tried to protect me from the evils of this world. From Aunt Mary who took me aside and told me never let people put me down for being me, that I'm great just the way I am, to my sister who has given encouragement and many inspirational trips around the world (I recall walking the streets of Kyoto, Japan, during a lantern festival or going to a museum in Stockholm enjoying the wonderful idea of Slow Art or exploring the small towns of the Czech Republic). From Katie, Lucinda, and Joellen--who remind me that I can do anything--to Kim, Wendy, Bert, Tara, Jeannie, Cheryl, Angela, Ann, Mary, Victoria, Maria, Robbie, Patti, Jeanna, Gina, Carrie, Jennifer, Michelle, Alice, Lena, Beth, Ariane, Clair, Rochelle, Kristin, Bonny, Polly, Amanda, Lynda, Cassie, and Sara. The list goes on.
Through the years there have been too many to name who have lifted me up, given me a helping hand, and reminded me that I have something to share with the world. So today I wanted to take the time to remind all the wonderful, talented women I know that they are appreciated and that they inspire me. I wouldn't be here today without you.